The London Film School

The London Film School
24 Shelton Street
London, WC2H 9UB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7836 9642

Fax: +44 (0) 20 7497 3718
Email: info@lfs.org.uk


The London Film School is the oldest-established international school of film technique in the world, at 50 in 2006. Rather than try and create a national cinema, as so many government-funded schools have done, LFS from the outset fostered a broad, craft-based culture of excellence with students from more than 80 countries. At present just 25% of the school’s students are from the UK.

In 1956 the Principal of the Heatherley School of Fine Art, Gilmore Roberts, set up a short course in film making, but before the applicants could enrol, found that his school had been sold from under him.

He decided to continue the course independently, but could hardly have imagined that forty-five years later a thriving, multinational school, descended from his embryonic idea, would be working in a converted warehouse in Covent Garden, London.

After precarious early days, the School settled in Brixton as the ┬┤London School of Film Technique┬┤. It was set up around the belief that the future health of film making in Britain could be promoted by properly designed formal training for people entering the industry, then run on a traditional apprenticeship basis. Since there was little sign of any official action to carry out these plans, a group of enthusiasts decided to take the classic British way and constitute such a school.

The approach to the old school, through a gaunt passage and up winding brick stairs to a handful of rooms over shops in Electric Avenue, Brixton, was likened by an intrepid visitor to a set from “The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari”. In the early 1960s the school moved to premises in Charlotte Street in the West End. The 18th century warehouse in Covent Garden, in which the school has been since the mid 1960s, maintains a similarly dramatic and individual character.

In 1974 the school was re-named as LIFS, the London International Film School. The LIFS constitution, which remains in force, is very unusual. The School is a registered charity, a non-profitmaking company, limited by guarantee. All students become members of the Association, and, together with the other members, elect a Board of Governors on which they have representation. The Board of Governors has the overall responsibility for the management of the School. The current Chairman is the internationally renowned director and LFS graduate Mike Leigh. The school has always been completely independent, and remains so following the validation of its course by London Metropolitan University.